“Welcome To New York” by Taylor Swift

November 3, 2014

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Well, I am sorry, but I am jumping on the Taylor Swift bandwagon with today’s song. I honestly have been singing this song since the first time I heard the sneak preview on October 20 from Ryan Seacrest. I love the sound (very 80s) and it just seemed like the perfect theme song for my current life adventure.

Almost a month ago we got an apartment in NYC. As you know, we had some major life changes over the past few months and quite unexpectedly my husband and I became empty-nesters a couple of years earlier than anticipated. (We keep saying that we are either doing something very right … or something very wrong. My daughter left home at 16 to attend college, and then my son left home at 15 to attend a golf boarding school. Holy cow!) Anyway, I realized that the sudden change was going to be more than I could stomach. I just could not imagine myself sitting out in our big, quiet home all by myself. Moving into the city seemed like the perfect plan for a new adventure.

The minute I saw our apartment, I knew it was where I wanted to be. I love the view and I love being in the thick of the action.

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I love New York City! I love the energy, I love the diversity, I love the chaos, I love the excitement, and, of course, I love the music. I guess that I would have to say I understand the thrill of the city that this song exudes.

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I went to visit my son for his 16th birthday a few days before we were scheduled to move into the apartment and his first comment to me was, “Well, it sure didn’t take you long to replace me!” Ouch! Obviously he understood my reason for heading into the city was in part due to the loss of having him at home. He wasn’t far off, but as it turns out, it has been much more than that. My husband and I have been having a fabulous time. We are certainly enjoying this new adventure together even more than we thought we would. We still have not exactly figured out the logistics of our life, but I am sure that will come. 😉

Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, was just released a week ago today and it was forecast to sell more than 1.3 million copies in that first week. Love her or hate her, I don’t think there is anyone who cannot admit that she is an amazing young lady – talented and a savvy business woman. I am a fan! Oh, but her song will not be on Not Your Mom’s Playlist Spotify playlist as she pulled all her music off Spotify today.

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SONG OF THE DAY – “MISS SHANGHAI” by The Shanghai Restoration Project

September 3, 2014

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It has been a crazy, busy week with so much happening, and so many life changing events occurring, that it has not even really hit me yet. I have so many things that I want to write about that I don’t even know where to begin. I think I will just start with Shanghai … and my Miss Shanghai.

My daughter arrived in Shanghai, China last week and, after a few days of orientation to her study abroad program, she started school on Monday.  I hate giving up the tradition of “The First Day of School” photos and, even though she is starting her Junior year in college, I always ask her to send me one. She is always so willing to send me a photo and it makes me smile that she will appease her sentimental mom.

These are her first day of school photos – one alone and one with her roommate. Her study abroad program is located at The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学) and these photos are just right outside of the campus.

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My daughter is truly an amazingly adventurous and brave person. Other than Singapore, our family has not ventured much into Asia yet, so she is forging the culture shock on her own. I think food has been the most challenging experience for her thus far. She has let me know that American Chinese food is NOTHING like the Chinese food that is actually in China. So, if you think you like Chinese food … don’t be fooled. 🙂 She is trying lots of new things, but trying to find familiar food as well.

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She found Doritos! Made her dad happy. 🙂

She said that flying into the city of Shanghai felt like it could be any large, modern world city. She, however, lives outside of the city and she has found it to be very different. She told me that I need to watch [the new] “Karate Kid” movie again because that reminds her of where she is living. I plan to re-watch the movie as soon as I get home.

I don’t think it has really sunk in for any of us that she is going to be in China for 4 more months. We were just talking about Thanksgiving plans and realized that she would not be home. So strange!

I was so excited when I found this song. I LOVE the sound! This song was released by The Shanghai Restoration Project in 2005. Their sound is very exotic. It is contemporary electronic music that combines traditional Chinese instruments and sounds with Western hip-hop and electronica. I absolutely love the video as well because I get the picture of China that my daughter is describing. The Shanghai Restoration Project was started by Emmy-winning Producer, and Chinese-American, Dave Liang. Liang was born in Kansas and grew up in upstate New York. He attended college at Harvard University where he majored in Applied Math and Economics. He has produced an amazing sound that is pretty timeless. They will be touring next year (2015) in China and two locations in the US: Provo, Utah (interestingly) and New York City. Check out their other music, it is really cool I really like Babylon of the Orient and Babylon of the Occident.

Missing you my Miss Shanghai!

SONG OF THE DAY – “NIGHT LIKE THIS” by LP

May 4, 2014

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Today I am posting a song by an artist that I just find fascinating – LP.

I really love LP’s totally unique sound. This song is from her new album, Forever For Now, scheduled for release on June 3. I am excited to listen to the album in its entirety because I understand there are a lot of new sounds for her and a real focus on her very unique voice.

I was first exposed to LP with her song, “Into the Wild,” which I absolutely adore. Many of you may have heard the song as it was later played on a CitiBank commercial). I also watched one of her live concert performances online and was really taken by her entire performance – her interaction with the audience, her look, her infamous ukulele (an instrument she taught herself to play), her whistle, and that incredibly unique voice. One of my favorite live performances is of Beyonce’s song, “Halo” – watch it here. I am hoping to get a chance to see her perform in person soon; I have heard the performances are electrifying.

LP is a native New Yorker who moved to Los Angeles many years ago in her pursuit of music. She has been on the music scene for many years and, in fact, once had a bidding war to sign her to a recording contract after her performance at SXSW in 2006. Along with being an amazing performer, she is also an incredible songwriter and has written songs for many artists, including Rihanna (“Cheers (Drink to That)“) and many others. Along the way, LP has amassed a loyal fan base and many admirers, including being named as Artist of the Week by Vogue Magazine in 2012, and receiving praise from the likes of CNN, Rolling Stone, and Esquire (see her bio).

Enjoy this new song and keep your eye out for her new album.

SONG OF THE DAY – “ALL THE WAY” by Timeflies

March 2, 2014

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I love that my kids have a passion for music like I do. A few weeks ago my son came home and said, “Mom, I have a great song for you.” He told me it was from a band called Timeflies and I said, “I know them! I think I have them written down on one of my lists.” (I keep jotted notes and lists of songs and bands that I like and want to share, that has collected into quite a jumbled stack of papers!) We pulled out my papers and, sure enough, I had “Timeflies” written down, but with the name of a different song than my son was suggesting.

We spent some time listening to their music together. It was a fun moment. I am actually posting his choice of song today. It is a catchy tune and perfect for a workout or just a little pick-me-up. 

Timeflies is an incredibly talented duo that consists of Rob Resnick (aka Rez, producer) and Cal Shapiro (vocals). The pair met while they were both undergrads at Tufts University in Boston and playing in a band called The Ride; they formed Timeflies in October 2010 (their senior year) and released their first album in 2011. They are now based out of New York City. The duo does not like to limit itself to one particular musical genre because they like to incorporate all the different music that they like; therefore, they use elements of pop, hip-hop, electro, dub step, and rock to create a very interesting blend of music that is great for a listen.

FYI, the song I had written down is called “Turn It Up” and is also worth checking out. 🙂

SONG OF THE DAY – “BREAKABLE” by Ingrid Michaelson

February 25, 2014

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Ingrid Michaelson, whose song I am sharing today, is one of my favorite female artists. I love her quirky, artsy style and she is just so incredibly talented – a songwriter, musician, and singer. She is from New York and grew up with artistic parents, starting her musical journey at the age of 4 when she began playing the piano. Much of her music has been featured on very popular television series, including this song which was featured on Grey’s Anatomy in the fall of 2007. The song is from the album, Girls and Boys, which she released independently in 2006 and then remastered and re-released in January 2007. At about that time, Ingrid was often referred to as one of the most promising independent artists in the country. She has a new album coming out in April called, Lights Out, which will be her sixth studio album. I am looking forward to hearing it! A few other favorites from a sampling of her albums, include: “Be OK,” “Maybe,” and “Do It Now” among others, but that is a good start.

I am going to share a story with you from earlier this month, which makes this song title such a perfect choice for the day.

Just over two weeks ago my husband slipped on our hardwood floor stairs in the garage and broke his back. He had just returned from a week of business travel and we were starting a “kid-less” weekend as my daughter had returned to college and my son was away in Florida for a golf tournament. We had big plans for the weekend! He zipped out of the house in his socks to take out the trash, hit that top stair, and just flew off the stairs. I was inside the house and heard a big thud outside. I opened the door to the garage and he was lying on the floor just looking dazed.

Okay, I have a confession to make. I have a horrible problem of laughing at inopportune times and often funny injuries just do it for me (a habit I share with my good friend in London – you know who you are 😉 ). So, needless to say, I started to giggle. Through my strained laughing voice, I said, “Did you just fall down the stairs?” I walked over, picked up the trash bag, and started to giggle again. He still just kept laying there motionless. Finally, he said, “I don’t think I can get up,” which of course caused me to burst out laughing. I know, I know … I am horrible, but when I realized he was being serious, the laughing stopped.

He has an incredible threshold for pain and he was in excruciating pain, so I knew it was serious. We went to the ER the next morning and the CT scan discovered that he had broken a bone in his back – a bone of which I had never even heard. He had broken his Left Transverse Process, the bone that comes out laterally from the spine and where all the muscles connect. The doctor told us (like he didn’t already know!) that it is an extremely painful break because of the amount of movement that area of the back controls and that there is little to be done to help it heal, other than time and bed rest. Haha … bed rest is not my husband’s strength.

So, fast forward … it has been 17 days since the fall and the break. He is doing much better and we are hoping that full recovery is on the way. He has not been very good about the “bed rest,” but he is moving so much better than he was a week ago, that things have to be improving. It was a good reminder that we are all breakable. Good health and mobility are about the greatest blessings we have and I know he will be thrilled to have his return. So, here’s to good health!

SONG OF THE DAY – “MY TIME” by Caveman

February 24, 2014

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A quick note tonight. I just got home after a long travel day and I am finally sitting down to write and post a song. It was my time to come home, but what a shock that cold weather was to my system when I stepped off that plane. Yikes! 

Today’s song is from a band called Caveman. Caveman is a 5-member band that formed in 2010 and hails from Brooklyn, New York. This song is from their 2011 album, “Coco Beware,” but they just released their second album in 2013. Caveman produces a very unique sound and I really enjoy this song. Hope you like it too.

Sorry to keep it short, but I am exhausted. 🙂 Also, I need to prepare myself for the “Polar Vortex” that is arriving again on the east coast again this week. haha! Spring is coming, right?

SONG OF THE DAY – “HARLEM” by New Politics

February 10, 2014

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Today I just really want to post a fun song that makes me feel like moving. It is a great song for working out, dancing, or just bouncing your head while sitting down at work. I really love the sound and find it such fun. The song is not new and many of you may already be familiar with it, but it is a great song to add to your playlist if you have not already done so.

New Politics is an Indie-rock group originally from Copenhagen, Denmark who now make Brooklyn, New York home. They have released two albums and today’s song is from their sophomore album, A Bad Girl in Harlem, which was released in May 2013. The band seems to constantly be on tour and has a reputation for having an incredibly energetic stage performance. I have not seen them live yet, but they are currently on tour and I think they would be a fun group to see in action.

This song is such a great combination of drums, guitar and electronics and they fuse pop music and a punk sound seamlessly. It is great dance music and just plain fun. How can you not get up and move to this song? Watch the video and you will see what I mean. 🙂

SONG OF THE DAY – “I NEED MY GIRL” by The National

February 5, 2013

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Snowed in again today! Woke up to 8 new inches of snow and then it started to sleet which put a nice layer of ice on top of it all. My husband was meant to fly out to California this morning, but with the crazy weather warnings, he made a quick change of plans and flew out last night. Good thing he did as all flights were canceled this morning. I got a text at 4:28 am this morning letting me know that he had just arrived. That is the joy of flying across the country and 3 time zones! The crazy things we do!

I am posting a song today by The National. The band was formed in Cincinnati, Ohio back in 1999 and are now based in Brooklyn. Their 2013 album release, Trouble Will Find Me, was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Alternative Album.

The band is made up of Matt Berninger (the baritone singer & lyrics writer) and two pairs of brothers: twins, Aaron and Bryce Dessner (guitarists), and Scott and Bryan Devendorf (bass and drums). Matt writes the lyrics to the songs, and the rest of the guys contribute to writing the music. It sounds like they make a very cooperative team in their creative process. I love the texture of their music and I think they would be incredible to see live.

The band had a slow start, but have progressively gained more and more followers, critically acclaimed albums, and strong reviews. They have been considered, by some, as one of the most “distinctive underground rock bands of the last decade.” In a 2007 article by TheSceneStar, their lyrics were described as “dark, melancholy, and difficult to interpret.” Matt Berninger indicated that he would say “… they’re on the darker side of the spectrum …” but he wouldn’t classify them or himself as being dark.

I would definitely call their music moody and melancholy, and I can only take them in small doses (or when my mood is in the same place!), but I really love this song. Have you ever had anyone say to you, “I need my girl.” It is such an incredibly honest and vulnerable statement, and a powerful message on the receiving end. I totally think they caught the moment in this song.

I hope you enjoy the music today. Definitely different from yesterday’s rap … I like to keep it interesting. 🙂

SONG OF THE DAY – “Doin’ What She Likes” by Blake Shelton

February 1 ,2014

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I was able to see Blake Shelton perform live last night at a Super Bowl party in NYC. He pulled up a chair and sat down and played and sang solidly for over an hour.

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I know that people truly love him and his music. He is a very personable guy and has a great voice and really can connect with an audience. I was amazed at the people around me who knew every word of every single song. It was funny because since the concert was in NYC, Blake Shelton asked, “Do we have any rednecks or hillbillies in the crowd?” There was a large roar from the audience. He said, “so … this isn’t a typical New York show.” It is funny how there is this very regional idea of music tastes that is very real, but not necessarily exclusive. I am sure there are plenty of people in NYC who like country music, but it is obviously not the norm, and the fact that the Super Bowl brought in so many people from all over the country made the mix different from the norm.

Anyway, as I have said before, I am not a huge country music fan, so I only knew a few of his songs. So, nerd that I am, I prepped for the show. 🙂 I put Blake Shelton on Spotify for a couple of days, so that I was familiar with all his music. Besides the normal ones that I am sure everyone already knows … because I knew them (“God Gave Me You,” “Honey Bee,” and “Drink On It“), I found another one that I really liked and so I have decided to share that one today. He played it last night and it is just a great song. All the men out there need to listen to the words! 🙂

 

SONG OF THE DAY – “HERE’S TO US” by Kevin Rudolf

January 22, 2014

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I love this song! I just can’t seem to get it out of my head. When I first heard the song, the chords and the sound at the beginning  immediately reminded me of another favorite song that I highlighted in November –  “Come To Me” by The Goo Goo Dolls.

I love the music of this song, but I especially love the lyrics – the combo seems to make it ear candy for me. Over the last month or so I have been really focused on the story … my story, other people’s stories, and when those stories intersect. My life has crossed so many other people’s paths and I count that as a tremendous blessing. Sometimes it is definitely sad when that path intersects and then continues on and it involves goodbyes. One of my favorite lines in the song …

“Here’s to all we loved that wasn’t meant to last.”

I think that has been a theme in our life. This was just recently emphasized with our visit back to Dallas last weekend. Dallas was such an important time in my kids’ lives. It is where my daughter spent the last two years of her high school life, made important friendships, and graduated from high school; and it is where my son started high school and developed a friendship with two friends that really comes along once in a lifetime. I tend to refer to them as “Brothers From Different Mothers.” I have learned that life has a way of creating a beautiful story even when it is difficult and that “things always turn out right,” as the song says.

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I have to say that this is the first song I have heard from Kevin Rudolf. I learned of the song from a past yoga teacher, from several cities ago, who I adore and who has amazing musical taste. Kevin Rudolf is a singer-songwriter who was born in New York City and learned to play the guitar when he was only 11 years old. His mother was a rock musician and instilled in him the passion to pursue music. He has written or co-written every song on his albums (as well as writing for many others) and he seems to cross multiple genres with his music. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry. Enjoy the song, enjoy the story and HERE’S TO US!